Darius Broughton, a Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Executive MBA (EMBA) alumnus, always had an affinity for Georgia Tech as a kid growing up in nearby Conyers, Georgia. Even though Broughton took a different route for his undergraduate degree, attending Morehouse College for Applied Physics and North Carolina A&T for Bio-Environmental Engineering, Georgia Tech still became part of his life story after he was accepted into Scheller’s EMBA program in 2018.
“I always wanted to get back to Tech at some point,” said Broughton. “After going to a few of the EMBA info sessions at Georgia Tech, I really felt good there. I was so, so happy that I made that decision. I fostered some relationships with classmates that I feel will be true lifelong friendships in that program.”
Prior to joining Scheller’s EMBA program, Broughton was a Program Controls Manager at H.J. Russell & Company, working on projects with Atlanta’s streetcar program and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. As he quickly progressed through his career, he realized his need to become more astute at what he did and to better himself, which led him to pursue his MBA.
“The EMBA program was a challenge to me. The more I was promoted, the less core engineering was involved in my daily responsibilities. The work turned into people management and money management. I realized that I needed to have more business knowledge and to understand business jargon better than I did. The program at Scheller was a big deal to me because it really opened my eyes to things I had been introduced to but didn’t have a deep knowledge of. It really helped a ton,” said Broughton.
Broughton’s time in Scheller’s EMBA program not only brought him new friends, an expansive professional network, and more applicable business knowledge; it also helped him receive a promotion to Director of Program Management at H.J. Russell & Company.
While Broughton has had an exceptional career in project management in the City of Atlanta, he doesn’t come from a family of engineers or business professionals as you may expect. He comes from a family of musicians.
“Everyone in my family, on both sides, either plays an instrument, sings, or does both. A lot of my family members are professional musicians and producers and have worked with everyone from Bobby Brown and New Edition, Aretha Franklin, and Liza Minnelli to gospel artists like Kirk Franklin. I would go visit my uncles and grandparents and I would see gospel artists walking through their house or having dinner. Yolanda Adams is one of my favorite singers and when my family got together on the first Sunday of every month to eat, you would see Yolanda there making a plate every once in a while”.
Broughton’s musical gift has also led to a couple of television and movie appearances with Atlanta’s own Tyler Perry. “Mr. Perry was gracious enough to allow a group of us to participate in several projects as singers. We were even brought on to perform in the opening of his studio’s former location in Southwest Atlanta. Being a part of that experience was incredible and humbling, and I am forever grateful,” Broughton said.
While Broughton’s professional journey didn’t go the music route like some of his family members, music and family still play a huge role in his life. He has a pre-production studio at his home where he plays guitars, sings, and writes songs in his spare time. Broughton also loves to spend his free time with his family. Him and his wife spend a lot of time with their children, traveling to different places and activities, including gymnastics, chess, and of course, piano. Broughton takes great pride in being able to show his children the projects he is working on around the city.
“I never thought that my current career trajectory was going to be my arc,” Broughton said. “The cool part about it is that I’m a hometown kid and I feel a personal connection to all the projects that I’m able to be a part of. When I take my kids around the city, I’ll tell them, ‘You’re standing on top of a tunnel that your dad walked in.’ Every time we drive by the airport, whether you’re looking at the new canopies that are up or landing an airplane on the runway, I helped with a lot of that stuff. It’s rewarding to be vested in projects that have a large effect in the region.”
So just where will Broughton’s story take him next? We can’t wait to find out.